It was one of those chilly and rainy weekends that you actually appreciate. Normally I’d let gray weather rain on my parade (literally), but I soaked it all in. Also quite literally! It was nothing but smiles the past few days because it finally feels and looks like fall outside. And even a little rain won’t take that away.
My parents came to visit, I did some recipe testing, caught up with a few friends, pumpkin crumb cake muffins made an appearance, and packed for my trip this week. Guess what? I’m on my way to Phoenix right now! (Where I hear it totally does not feel like east coast fall.) I’ll be there for a couple business meetings and I’ll also be shooting some promo video material for the big paperback release. It will be a busy week, but I’m thrilled to be on my way. Never been! Any must sees or must eats? Emphasis on that last one. Tell me tell me tell me!
Here’s one of the recipes I played around with before I left. I know I’m not alone when I say I looooooove apple desserts. Here’s hoping you use that many o’s as well. Apple is very much overshadowed by pumpkin this time of year. I understand I’m completely guilty of this as I throw pumpkin muffins and cookies at you all day long, but ya know what? There’s room for everyone at the fall table. And I’m sorry for throwing muffins and cookies at you.
These apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies have climbed to the tippy top of my favorite cookie list. How unpredictable. I got this recipe idea from all of you. Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten several requests for chewy oatmeal cookies packed with chunks of real apples and apple spice flavor. (YUM!) But to be honest– I’ve never had luck with them. My apple oatmeal cookies always turn out a little dry and cakey, though the flavor usually seems to be on point. And looking back, I know now that it was mostly a ratio thing; not enough oats, too much flour and applesauce etc.
So I revisited things and here’s what to love about today’s cookies:
- Chewy with crisp edges
- Soft and moist centers
- Flavorful, spiced, and chunky
- Pretty. Look at that gorgeous maple icing. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Some science for you! (Sorry, it’s Monday)
These are quick and easy. The first ingredient is melted butter, not too hot and not too cool. Too hot and the dough and cookies will become an oily puddle (albeit delicious) mess. Too cool and your cookies will taste a little too cakey. So what I always do is melt the butter and set it aside for 10 minutes as I prep the rest of the ingredients. It’s still warm, but not piping hot.
Next = sugars. I like to use dark brown sugar in recipes this time of year though light or dark are equally delish. You’ll scarf them down no matter which you use! For extra apple flavor, whisk in some applesauce. I recommend using unsweetened applesauce. I find the apple flavor is much more pronounced when there isn’t a bunch of added sugar in its way.
Applesauce can usually make cookies taste a little rubbery, but the melted butter will keep the chewy texture in check.
You can leave out the walnuts if they’re not your thing! ↑ ↑
For the apple chunks, make sure they’re pretty small. There’s only 1/2 cup of apple chunks– you can probably get away with 2/3 cup, but any more than that will lend too much moisture. Between those and the applesauce, there’s still plenty of flavor. We’ll also add lots of cinnamon and apple pie spice, if you have it. If you don’t have any, just use a little extra cinnamon.
More oats than flour = chewier cookie. You’ll need 2 cups of whole oats and only 1 cup of flour. The oats will soak up a lot of the moisture if you let the cookie dough sit for too long. This isn’t a bad thing, but I find the centers are much softer. You’ll get a better cookie if you bake them right away (impatience wins today). Though I will say the cookies have 50x more flavor the next day if you can actually wait!!
I wasn’t going to top these with any sort of glaze or icing, but then I remembered HELLO maple icing and the rest was history.
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies
- 2 cups (170g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice (or an extra tsp cinnamon)
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/2 cup (90g) unsweetened applesauce1
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed dark or light brown sugar (I prefer dark here)
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup finely diced apple (about 1/2 of a large apple)
- optional: 1/2 cup (63g) Diamond of California chopped walnuts
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) confectioners' sugar
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
- Some readers have found that these cookies spread a little too much without chilling the cookie dough first-- I haven't run into that problem, but feel free to chill this cookie dough for 1-2 hours after step 4--before rolling and baking. Enjoy!
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
- Whisk the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and apple pie spice (if using) together in a large bowl.
- Whisk the butter, applesauce, brown sugar, and white sugar together until combined. Then whisk in the egg and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Fold in the apples and walnuts. The cookie dough will be thick and sticky.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough into balls (about 2 Tbsp of dough each) and place 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Slightly flatten the balls out-- see picture above-- as the cookies won't spread much unless you help out first!
- Bake for 14-15 minutes or until lightly browned and set on the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before icing.
- Make the icing: Whisk all of the ingredients together and drizzle over cookies. You may have a little icing leftover. Drizzle more on each... it's so good!
Make ahead tip: Iced cookies stay fresh covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Their flavor is even better on day 2! You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
- Make sure you are using a thick applesauce. Anything too liquid-y could cause excess spreading.
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